Great Britain head coach Tony Hand admits he is spoilt for choice after naming a 40-man long-list preliminary squad for next month’s Ice Hockey World Championships in Budapest.
Britain will play their second international tournament in the space of just over two months in Hungary having turned out at the final Olympic qualifier in Latvia in early February.
Team GB lost all three of their matches in Riga to miss out on a place at Sochi 2014 however they will battle for promotion to the top flight at next month’s World Championships.
Britain are currently in Division One Group A with the winners of the six-team tournament promoted to the elite division, which includes powerhouses Canada and USA, for 2014.
They face hosts Hungary as well as Italy, Japan, Kazakhstan and South Korea in Budapest with Britain’s 40-man long-list preliminary squad to be cut down to a final 22 before departure.
Britain lost to Kazakhstan last month but beat Japan at the pre-Olympic qualifier in November with the majority of those who featured in the two tournaments selected again.
Head coach Hand admits trimming 18 players from the squad will be hard but knows that indicates the strength in depth currently on offer in Britain.
“There are a lot of new faces in this preliminary squad and it obviously gives me plenty of options,” said Hand. “This is reward for the guys who have had a great season with their clubs.
“We have terrific talent in the UK, not just in the Elite League but in the EPL as well, and that shows in the strength of the squad.
“The final 22 will be a tough call, but I am lucky to be in this position with great talent at my disposal.”
Britain’s 40-man long-list preliminary squad:
Luke Boothroyd, Ben Bowns, Ben Campbell, Adam Carr, David Clarke, Russ Cowley, Ben Davies, Matthew Davies, Robert Dowd, Tom Duggan, Robert Farmer, Mark Garside, Joe Greener, James Griffin, Matthew Haywood, Jason Hewitt, Phil Hill, Leigh Jamieson, Robert Lachowicz, Stevie Lee, Steven Lyle, Danny Meyers, Ben Morgan, Stephen Murphy, Matthew Myers, Aaron Nell, Ben O’Connor, Gregory Owen, Craig Peacock, David Phillips, Jonathan Phillips, Kevin Phillips, Mark Richardson, Colin Shields, Ashley Tait, Mark Thomas, Matthew Towe, Jonathan Weaver, Gregory Wood, Geoff Woolhouse
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